Sixth Annual Denton Black Film Festival Wraps Up Record Year
By: Foote Communications
With a record-setting 93 films screened during January 22 – 26 at locations around Denton, the festival offered a rich collection of drama, comedy, narrative, animated and documentary films. Linda Eaddy, director of film programming, and Sarah Hodge, coordinator of film programming announced the winners of its annual awards breakfast on Sunday.
The event, with a record attendance of more than 8,800 people, kicked off with a concert featuring Grammy-nominated Jazzmeia Horn and proceeded nonstop for three days. The DBFF Interactive Expo highlighted artwork by nationally acclaimed artist Vicki Meek who showcased her digital art project – "I could be angry all the time if I think too hard … Part 1". Additionally, renowned artist Frank Frazier exhibited and sold some of his work at the Expo. The DBFF Institute hosted a series of workshops and panels, including "Social Responsibility of Media Makers"; "8 Essential Qualities of a Successful Freelancer + 50 Killer Marketing Techniques"; and, a screening and discussion of "Savages, Servants and Specialty Acts" with Michael Dennis, founder of Reelblack Productions.
As part of the social justice theme at this year's festival, there were a series of movies, including "True Justice", that highlighted the life and work of Bryan Stevenson, as well as several panels addressing social justice issues. Featured panelists were Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon, Heroes of Color Founder, filmmaker and animator David Heredia; Emmy-winning filmmaker and author Loki Muholland; Austin Film Society Program Manager of Filmmaker Resources Michael Thielvoldt; director Deborah Riley Draper; and, writer/director Christine Raia, Gregory Timmons, water recovery coordinator in Flint, Mich.
Participating sponsors are NBC5, Panavision, City of Denton, University of North Texas, Texas Woman's University and North Central Texas College.
Here's a list of the winners and runners up:
BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
Winner: "The Birth of Deceit", Yaw Agyapong
Runner Up: "Lara and the Beat", Tosin Coker
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Winner: "Patrinell: The Total Experience", Tia Young and Andrew Elizaga
Runner Up: "The Evers", Loki Mulholland
Honorable Mention: "While I Breathe, I Hope", Emily Harrold
BEST SHORT FILM
Winner: "One Last Goodbye", Latasha Kennedy
Runners Up: "I AM TX", Ryan Darbonne and Normal: The Documentary, Tari Wariebi
BEST COLLEGE STUDENT SHORTS
Winners: "Justice Delayed", Janine Anne Uyanga and Riverment, Shayla Racquel
Runner Up: Sankofa, Princess Garrett
BEST TEXAS SHORT FILMS
Winner: "Solomon's Dilemma", Michael L Jackson/
Runner Up: "I AM TX", Ryan Darbonne/Austin
The winner in each category won equipment or money, trophy and a certificate:
- Panavision is providing a $20,000 camera package to the winners in the Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature categories.
- The Denton Black Film Festival is provided a $500 award for the Best Short Film contest and a $250 award for the Best College Short contest.
- Poorchild Films is presented a $250 to the winner of the Best Texas Short category.
All runners up received a trophy and certificate, and all honorable mentions received a certificate.